Road Test: Overbilt 2003 Ford F-650 Extended Crew Cab
The ultimate toy hauler: Overbilt has created a monster
This is a bad-ass truck. If that description offends you, it's guaranteed the truck will, too. This creation started life as a 2003 Ford F-650, and, after a few months' work, was transformed into a one-of-a-kind hauler. It's easy to presume that a truck this big, with this much attitude, was designed simply to get attention. But this monster was built for a specific reason, and, as you might imagine, it gets looks wherever it goes.
The Bodman family, which owns Ridge Route Collectible Cars, originally purchased the Ford to tow a two-car enclosed trailer to carry father Pete Bodman's personal collection of rare and classic Buicks. His son Kevin liked driving it so much, he was inspired to make a few improvements. Kevin's goal: Add a bed and extend the cab, and make it look like it came from the Ford factory that way. He did such an impressive job that people frequently ask him and his brother Jeff, "When did Ford start building that model?" As a result of the positive feedback, the brothers have started a business, called Overbilt Trucks.
Ford F-650s are basically built to order. With that kind of flexibility, the Bodmans had no difficulty getting what they wanted. Lurking behind the pit-bull nose is a 7.2-liter turbodiesel Caterpillar C7 ACERT inline-six, putting out 300 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque. Backing that much power is one of the few transmissions that can handle it--an Allison MD-3066 six-speed automatic with double overdrive. This Ford uses an I-beam-type front suspension, with 8500-pound-rated parabolic tapered leaf springs, and a live-axle rearend, with a custom self-leveling air ride suspension. This setup has a dump valve, which lowers the rear end eight inches, making it easier to load the truck bed. A flip of a switch ignites a compressor that brings the rear back up. Stopping the truck in its tracks are hydraulic brakes with ABS. Ogawa Enterprises built the dual custom gas tanks and Mr. Bob's supplied the exhaust system.
The F-650 came to Overbilt as a two-wheel-drive crew cab and chassis; by the time Kevin was done, it was a six-door, eight-passenger truck. (An extended crew cab, perhaps?) Sam Johnson was one of the guys at Overbilt who helped with much of the project. Overbilt got the extended cab and bed, both Super Duty items, from Bert Boeckmann at Galpin Ford. For increased vision when parking, a rear-mounted camera was installed. Also added was a Magnadyne M11 security system, which includes remote start and a two-way paging system. Finishing off the cab is an electric rear-sliding window.
Despite the vehicle's immense size and intimidating appearance, it's easy to live with. The 16-inch drop-down power steps, custom-built by KCB Precision in Valencia, California, make sure drivers of any stature can get into the truck without difficulty; once inside, it's as if you're in a customized Super Duty. The gauge layout, shifter, and general feel of the cab are all the same, but on a larger scale. The truck also enjoys custom touches like green-light accents and a PlayStation 2. And all those extra seats.
The truck's ride is unapologetic, as it should be. It's not supposed to feel like a cushy sedan when you're on the road; this is a big, bad medium-duty monster. It rides like a truck, meaning it's designed to be driven while towing or hauling; put heavy gear in the bed, and the ride improves. And, despite its size, it's easy to keep the truck in one lane, as long as you pay attention, as it's not much wider than a typical dualie.
Want a truck like this for your driveway? Overbilt currently offers a five-passenger crew cab version as well as the extended crew cab. If you order a truck from them, you can have it made to your specifications--within reason. Pricing will reflect the options you choose. We can guarantee that if you order one of these trucks, you'll be able to haul just about anything with a hitch, and you'll get a thumbs-up wherever you go. And you don't even need a special license to drive it.
|Overbilt F-650 Extended Crew Cab|
|Location of final assembly||Lebec, California|
|Body style||Six-door truck|
|EPA size class||Class 6 medium duty|
|Drivetrain layout||Front engine, RWD|
|Engine type||Turbodiesel I-6, iron block/head|
|Bore x stroke, in||4.33 x 5.00|
|Valve gear||OHV, 3 valves/cyl|
|SAE horsepower, hp @ rpm||300 @ 2400|
|SAE torque, lb-ft @ rpm||800 @ 1440|
|Transmission type||Allison MD-3066 6-speed auto|
|Recommended fuel||Diesel #2|
|Wheelbase, in||194.0 (from factory)|
|Headroom, f/r, in||41.5/41.0|
|Legroom, f/r, in||41.2/42.8|
|Shoulder room, f/r, in||68.0/66.9|
|Hip room, f/r, in||67.4/67.3|
|Ground clearance, in||10.0 (at front axle)|
|Base curb weight, lb||9000 (est)|
|Payload capacity, lb||30,000 (est)|
|GVWR, lb||25,999 (est)|
|GCWR, lb||70,000 (est)|
|Towing capacity, lb||18,500|
|Fuel capacity, gal||100.0 (dual 50-gal tanks)|
|Suspension, f/r||Beam axle, leaf springs/live axle, air suspension|
|Steering type||Power recirculating ball|
|Brakes, f/r||Hydraulic disc/hydraulic disc, ABS|
|Wheels||22.5 x 8.5 Alcoa|
|Acceleration, sec 0-60||21.3 1/4 mile, sec @ mph 21.9 @ 60.5|
|Braking, 60-0, ft||170|
|Fuel economy, city/hwy||9/12 (est)|
|Crew-cab model||$82,000-$85,000 (est)|
|Six-door model||(as tested) $115,000 (est)|
|Four-wheel-drive option||$10,000 (est)|